Red wine Reserva. 72 months in American oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Viña Tondonia. Production area: D.O.Ca. Rioja. Grapes used in this wine: Garnacha Tinta and Tempranillo and Mazuela and Graciano.
Red wine Crianza. 36 months in French oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Viña Tondonia. Production area: D.O.Ca. Rioja. Grapes used in this wine: Garnacha Tinta and Tempranillo and Mazuela and Graciano.
Red wine Reserva. 60 months in American oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Viña Tondonia. Production area: D.O.Ca. Rioja. Grapes used in this wine: Garnacha Tinta and Tempranillo and Mazuela and Graciano.
Red wine Reserva. 72 months in American oak barrels. Volume: Magnum Winery: Viña Tondonia. Production area: D.O.Ca. Rioja. Grapes used in this wine: Garnacha Tinta and Tempranillo and Mazuela and Graciano.
White wine Reserva. 6 years in french oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Viña Tondonia. Production area: D.O.Ca. Rioja. Grapes used in this wine: Malvasía and Viura.
Rosé wine Reserva. 48 months in French oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Viña Tondonia. Production area: D.O.Ca. Rioja. Grapes used in this wine: Garnacha Tinta and Viura and Tempranillo.
White wine Crianza. 48 months in oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Viña Tondonia. Production area: D.O.Ca. Rioja. Grapes used in this wine: Viura.
White wine Gran Reserva. 120 months in oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Viña Tondonia. Production area: D.O.Ca. Rioja. Grapes used in this wine: Malvasía and Viura.
Red wine Gran Reserva. 120 months in American oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Viña Tondonia. Production area: D.O.Ca. Rioja. Grapes used in this wine: Mazuela and Graciano and Tempranillo.
D.O.: D.O.Ca. Rioja
It all began in 1892, when a Chilean winegrower of Spanish parents, Rafael López de Heredia Landela, established himself in the area of Haro. He was first dedicated to the arms business, but he soon became involved in the crianza, ageing and export of wines, based on the knowledge he acquired from the French merchants residing in Haro, as well as his trade and accounting studies carried out during his stay in Bayonne. Rafael López de Heredia began the process of winemaking once the Bordeaux entrepreneurs had returned to their country because of the change in tariff and customs policy, which made it very difficult to export wine to France. He started to make wine with grapes from the region's vineyards, and he later bought land to plant his own vineyards, thus completing the production process.
The process of winemaking is passed on from generation to generation, rooted in the permanence of tradition and the deep conviction of the legitimacy and effectiveness of its current methods. A tradition that at Viña Tondonia is not an idea alluding to immobility, stagnation, opposition to change or self-satisfaction, but as a dynamic and aesthetic concept that arises from the idea of keeping their values and criteria, which are defined and maintained in time, far from trends or passing fads.
However, they are also aware of the continuous alternation marked by the current consumer patterns and tastes, and by innovations that take place in the winemaking world. For this reason, openness to change, flexibility in criteria, nonconformity and self-criticism are elements that allow them to face the future with decision. All of this also strengthens their belief in their own model and style of wines.
History of the winery
Nowadays, the facilities of López de Heredia Viña Tondonia continue in their original place, in the famous Barrio de la Estación, in the town of Haro. The wineries are located on a total surface area of 53,076 m2, of which 19,718 are currently built. Out of these, 3,433.41 m2 belong to the underground winery, with caves that are up to 200 metres long and more than 10 metres deep, excavated in the heart of a colossal block of sandstone. On the sides, they have interminable rows of almost 13,000 Bordeaux barrels. Worth mentioning are the 72 oak vats from the most varied origins: Cantabrian, Bosnian, Allier, American, among others, built in capacities that range from 60, 100, 200, and 480, and up to 640 hectolitres, which are those of greater capacity. Oak wood plays an important role in this House, as both the fermentations and the ageing of their wines are carried out in these containers using completely natural and craftsmanship processes.
As it also happens with the building of cathedrals, the construction work is never concluded. However, it does progress with successive generations, who leave the imprint of their work and effort. Therefore, the efforts of the López de Heredia family, parting from the huge impetus of the founder, has left its footprints in different crypts. El Cementerio, literally meaning cemetery, is the family wine gallery created by the son of the founder, Rafael López de Heredia y Aransáez, and baptised by the workers of the company in 1941 due to the unique disposition of its niches. Nowadays, bottles from the 1883 harvest still rest in "the cemetery". Collection bottles from missing brands such as Viña Zaconia, Viña Medokkia or Vendimia Especial, both white and red wines. The family has decided to restrict its access to the public to preserve these jewels whose oenological, historical and affective value is increasing with time. El Calado is the work of Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta. He built a large ageing winery excavated in the rock in 1890, with a main 140-metre gallery that goes through the promontory until it reaches the Ebro river. It has a constant temperature of 12 degrees Celsius throughout the year.
This huge construction was done with a team of stonemasons, removing the enormous stones that would later serve to erect the masonry walls of the buildings that were to comprise, in the future, the great main feature of the project. Nowadays, at the El Calado winery they continue to age Grandes Reservas in hundreds of barrels that continue to be racked by hand every 6 months. Bodega Nueva is part of the winery built after El Calado, which was emptied by opening a large well and closing it with a concrete roof, on columns made of this material. The construction work was carried out between 1904 and 1907 by the company Construcciones Hidráulicas y Civiles, directed by Eugenio Ribera Dutaste, with the collaboration of engineer Julio Martínez Zapata. The concrete roof is one of the first non-public works made with reinforced concrete in Spain. In 1941, the idea of the façade was taken over by architect Francisco Arzadun, and it was finally concluded in 1976 to mark the 100th anniversary of the winery in 1977. Bodega Vieja was designed by Pedro López de Heredia to store bottles in their ageing stage. This sacrificed part of the barrel vault and turned it into a bottle winery or a winery for reservas, a term used for wines before they reached the qualification of Gran Reserva. The Blondeau winery, also called "cocedero", is one of the oldest buildings. As the name suggests, the first fermentations of red wines took place here, in 35 vats made from oak of different origins and with several sizes.
It is oriented to the northwest, where the dominant wind comes from in the area. It was created with the idea of being naturally refrigerated, preventing the wines from fermenting at high temperatures. It has a sober design, constructed in sandstone and with oak beams. It bears the name of a French dealer who was a neighbour of the exploitation owned by Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta since 1880; a building that he acquired in 1899. El Pabellón 1 was built in 1878, and inside they stored 12 vats for storage and vintage harvesting machinery next to it. The building was redesigned, increasing its height from 1904. Its vats were replaced with five large ones, ordered by Mr Rafael López de Heredia Landeta to the cooperage Monreal, from Zaragoza, in 1899. These same vats were covered with plaster to protect them from bad weather until 1907. In this year, a carpenter from Haro, Juan Sagredo, built a roof over the whole building according to project of Julio Martinez Zapata. When the photographer Manuel Torcida Torre visited the winery in April 1910, this warehouse had no flooring, and it was not covered until 1913, finished by the Bilbao company Gamboa and Domingo. Next to a pilaster of this building there is "a treasure" that was buried there on the date when it was built, approximately in 1906. As of 1914, it already had flooring, but the warehouse was still open on the side that faced the railway station; a wall was built in 1960.
However, one of the most emblematic buildings of Viña Tondonia is the so-called "Txori Toki", inspired by the houses of the French villages of Aquitaine, but enhanced with the tower-lookout that amplified the scale of the whole. Precisely, this tower has characterised the facilities of López de Heredia since its foundation, and it has become a symbol that has been printed on the labels of its bottles worldwide. This tower obeyed to a double intention of its founder: to emphasise the brand's label at a distance, and to serve as an observatory of the vineyards of the region and the meteorological differences. This lookout was given a funny Euskara name: "Txori Toki", meaning bird house. Another of the most original spaces of the winery are its offices, which impeccably keep the nineteenth-century style. It's a journey into the past, because the office furniture is antique rather than old. Yellow tiles, bevelled glass, a window where you can read "checkout" or "orders". What you see and the smell of old varnished wood remind us of childhood memories at the office. More recently, the López de Heredia family built new offices to adjust to the times, while preserving the current ones in the same original architectural style. Also worth mentioning is La Galería, also called by Rafael López de Heredia Landeta "La Casita" or "Chalet Suizo" (little house or Swiss chalet), since it was his private home, built in 1886. Currently, the gallery is being restored and will soon become a reception area.
One of its latest constructions is La Frasca, a structure by Zaha Hadid built to mark the 125th anniversary of the winery. To commemorate so many years dedicated to the production of wine, generation after generation, they decided to restore the old 1910 modernist display booth of the grandfather of the family. This is another architectural luxury, the idea of which was to design a cover to be able to display this fabulous stand.
For Viña Tondonia, achieving the highest quality in their wines requires having their own agricultural heritage that allows to overcome the dependence of having purchase grapes from small harvesters, thus avoiding the qualitative diversity of the offer. For such reason, between 1913 and 1914, Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta planted Viña Tondonia, giving origin to the best-known product of the winery. Viña Tondonia is a beautiful vineyard of more than 100 hectares located on the right bank of the Ebro river, where the most typical Rioja vineyards grow. In addition, they also have three other vineyards, which are also located in the higher area of La Rioja: Viña Cubillo, Viña Bosconia and Viña Zaconia. In total, they own 170 hectares of vineyard, with an average annual production of around 800,000 kilos of grapes that are destined entirely for the production of their highest-quality wines and, of course, to the grandes reservas of this house, when they come from truly exceptional harvests.
Another exclusive feature of the winery is its own cooperage, which is a representative example of tradition. Currently, this cooperage still builds, in a traditional way, all of the barrels used in the ageing of their wines. Since the founding of the winery, the cooperage has been an important link in the production of quality fino wines from this winery. Viña Tondonia manages the entire process from the purchase of the wood in origin (oaks in their natural state, all from the Appalachian Mountains, USA) to the construction and assembly of the barrel with its metal bands, without forgetting the intermediate processes, such as sawing, drying/curing, roasting, among others.
At López de Heredia all the grapes from its vineyards are fermented in oak vats that are over 139 years old, preserved and kept in perfect condition of use by their artisan coopers. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the walls of the vat, due to their roughness, accumulate remains of tartrates and other compounds over the years, forming a shield, a screen that is the perfect habitat for yeasts that are preserved dormant from one year to another; these yeasts are what start the fermentation. This allows them to preserve their own microbial flora without having to resort to industrial yeasts.
On the other hand, the ageing takes place in American oak barrels. 10% are new, around 50% are of a medium age, around 10 years old, while the rest are made with wood that is over 10 years old. This old age of the barrels is used for the natural stabilisation of the wines, since the taste and aroma of oak transferred to the wine, as well as the porosity, diminish with the age of the barrel. For this reason, these wines are unfiltered. The stabilisation takes place over the years, with quietness and tranquillity, with constant racking and without accelerating the natural evolution process of the wine. All this implies the need to have barrels of different age. The oldest ones are converted into containers where wines are patiently stabilised, achieving a moderate oxidation and the making the woody taste and aroma disappear.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that, in the production of all their wines, they never added any grapes other than those from Rioja. At all times, they rejected the limited permissiveness allowed by the Regulatory Council of D.O.Ca. Rioja. In recognition of this circumstance, R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia was awarded a diploma of guarantee by such Council. It became the only winery that has received such a distinction, which is proudly displayed as a back label on all its bottles.
Wines from Viña Tondonia, R. López de Heredia
The common denominator of all wines from López de Heredia is that they all come from their own vineyards, they are clarified with fresh egg whites, and bottled unfiltered.
Viña Tondonia Reserva is made with Tempranillo (75%), Grenache (15%), Graciano and Mazuelo (10%), all from their own vineyards. This wine is aged for 6 months in barrels, with two racking per year. On the nose, it is very fine, toasted, with light aromas of vanilla. In the mouth, it is very dry, soft, round and developed. The farm Viña Tondonia is a group of vineyards owned by our winery, located on the meander of the Ebro river. It was construed from the group of farms acquired by the founder of the winery. One of the characteristics of the vineyards R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia is their vase-shape and the shape of the plots designed by its founder. These plots are 100 metres square, which is equivalent to an hectare of land.
Tondonia Gran Reserva is made with Tempranillo (75%), Grenache (15%), Mazuelo and Graciano (10%), all from their own vineyards. This wine is aged for 10 years in barrels, with two manual rackings per year. On the nose, it is very fine, fresh, toasted, with light aromas of vanilla. Persistent. In the mouth: Very dry, soft, round and developed.
Tondonia Reserva Blanco is made with Viura (90%) and Malvoisie (10%), all from their own vineyards. This wine is aged for 6 years, with two rackings per year. It has a natural amber colour. It is developed and very fine on the nose. Complex, evolved but with reminiscence of fruit. In the mouth, it is soft, consistent, fine and developed.
Tondonia Reserva Blanco is made with Viura (90%) and Malvoisie (10%), all from their own vineyards. This wine is aged for 10 years, with two rackings per year. It has an old gold colour, almost amber, with a very persistent aroma, very fragrant and mellow. In the mouth, it is round, soft, fine, with very persistent sensations.
Viña Tondonia Rosado Gran Reserva is made with Tempranillo (30%), Grenache (60%) and Viura (10%), all from their own vineyards. This wine is aged for 4 years in barrels, with 2 rackings per year. It has the colour of onion skin, velvety, with touches of brick-red colour. Fresh on the nose and very persistent. In the mouth, it is fresh and soft, with body and a lot of complexity.
Viña Bosconia Reserva is made with Tempranillo (80%), Grenache (15%), Mazuelo and Graciano. This wine is aged for 5 years in barrels, with 2 manual rackings per year. Persistent on the nose, with a lot of fruit. It is mainly dominated by the Tempranillo, and its development in the mouth is round, with body, soft, fine and persistent. Viña Bosconia wines come from the farm El Bosque. Its name refers to the vineyard area where they come from. Originally, the founder gave the wines names inspired by the French; therefore, Viña Bosconia comes from a wine that he made in the French, Burgundy style, with a greater percentage of Pinot Noir, and that he called Rioja Cepa Borgoña. The farm El Bosque is located on the banks of the Ebro river, at an altitude of 410 metres, and approximately one kilometre away from the winery. It is bordered to the north by the Sierra de Cantabria, and the vineyards are planted on a hillside and oriented towards the south. This provides perfect sun exposure and accumulation of hours of light for the proper ripening of the bunches. This ripening is also ensured by the clayey-calcareous and gravelly nature of the soils, and by the average age of the vineyard, which is of around 40 years. It extends over a total area of 15 hectares, 11 of which are of Tempranillo, 2 of Red Grenache, 1 of Mazuelo and 1 of Graciano.
Viña Bosconia Gran Reserva is made with Tempranillo (80%), Grenache (15%), Mazuelo and Graciano. This wine is aged for 10 years in barrels, with 2 rackings per year. It has a persistent aroma, mineral and complex. Round, soft, fine, with a persistent aftertaste.
Viña Cubillo Crianza is made with Tempranillo (65%), Grenache (25%), Mazuelo and Graciano. This wine is aged for 3 years in barrels, with 2 rackings per year. On the nose, it is fresh, with a slight aroma of liquorice, a consistent texture and a persistent aroma. In the mouth, it is fine, fresh and persistent. Wines from Viña Cubillo come from the farm Viña Cubillas. Historically, these wines were called Vendimia Especial. This farm is 4 kilometres away from the winery, in a straight line. Its altitude is 465 metres, and the vineyard is 40 years old, on average. The soils are from the tertiary period and of clayey-calcareous nature. It extends over a total area of 24 hectares, 16 of which are of Tempranillo, 4 of Red Grenache, 2 of Mazuelo and 2 of Graciano.
Viña Gravonia Crianza is a varietal white wine made with Viura. It is aged for 4 years in barrels, with 2 rackings per year. It has a slightly evolved pale golden colour. On the nose, it is fresh, aromatic, complex and developed. In the mouth, it is fruity, complex, evolved and very fine. Wines from Viña Gravonia come from the farm Viña Zaconia, which refers to the area were it comes from. Historically, these wines were called Viña Zaconia, when they were produce like sweet wines that came from Botritys Cinerea, and they were also called Sauternia, in clear reference to the French Sauternes. This 24-hectare farm is located 200 metres from the winery in a straight line, and close to the Ebro river. The vines are 45 years old on average. The soils are poor and gravelly hillsides, with a loose structure, and stony. The roots penetrate more easily, which allows them to achieve grapes that are balanced in their biological composition, with complete and harmonious ripening.
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